Harvardwood Presents Former Mather House Co-Master PATRICIA HERLIHY on VODKA

November 05, 2015 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
620 Eighth Ave
32nd Floor
New York, NY 10018
United States
Google map and directions
Spence Porter ·

Cost:  $3 for Full Members & Friends of Harvardwood (and their guests); $8 for all others.

The event begins at 6:30 with a Reception with, of course, vodka; the discussion will start promptly at 7 pm.  Advance registration is REQUIRED—no tickets will be sold at the door.



vodka.jpgVodka has been the staple drink in Slavic lands for at least six hundred years, and, some would claim, inextricably bound to its culture.  This clear but powerful distilled beverage not only supplied an alcholic drink for celebrations but also fueled the Russian and Soviet economies.  These days, vodka is blamed for Russia's soaring death rates.  So why has North America embraced this fascinating and versatile drink?  How did it happen that vodka has overtaken North America's own native drink, bourbon?  Why has vodka gone global?  The ways in which vodka distillers have packaged and pitched their product, and the corresponding ways by which consumers have come to define themselves through their choice of brands, reveal much not just about vodka but about our own world.  However vodka is drunk, straight, infused, flavored, or mixed, the history of vodka is the story of an old spirit that has become the perfect postmodern drink. 

Patricia Herlihy was the Co-Master of Mather House with her late husband David Herlihy from 1976 through 1986.  She is a renowned authority on Russian and Soviet history and culture.  Herlihy is Professor Emerita of Brown University where she taught until 2001.  She is currently Adjunct Professor at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University and an Associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard and of the Harvard Unkrainian Research Institute. 

Herlihy is the author of The Alcoholic Empire: Vodka and Politics in Late Imperial Russia, and Odessa: A History 1794-1914.  Her most recent book, Vodka: A Global History, will be available for purchase at the event, and a booksigning will follow the talk.

Patricia Herlihy has expressed the hope that this event will also be an opportunity for her to reconnect with students she knew while she was Co-Master of Mather House.  If you know Matherites of the appropriate era, do please spread the word!

Special thanks to Seyfarth Shaw LLP, and to Andy Goodwin and the Plymouth Hill Foundation.

Members & Friends, Register Here

Purchase tickets    $3.00 Members & Friends

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